First Car Experience
February to present
To raise awareness for the 2012 Impreza, Subaru tapped into the emotional connections people have with their first vehicles through its First Car Experience campaign.Strategy
Subaru, which did most of the communications work internally with help on marketing from Carmichael Lynch Spong, developed an animation generator technology - at firstcarstory.com - that allows consumers to recreate and animate their first-car experience and share it with friends across social platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
The site's experience generator utilizes text-to-video technology that turns users' first-car stories into animations. In addition, users have the option to incorporate a personal vocal narrative and a soundtrack.
"It doesn't feel that you're overselling the car," explains Michael McHale, director of corporate communications at Subaru of America. "It feels very organic."Tactics
The initiative looked to com- municate that Subaru's 2012 Impreza would be a good choice for a first new car; one that drivers will be able to rely on for many years. The communications team concentrated on print, online, and social media relations, at first targeting key journalists who are influencers in the car space to try the experience.
"We challenged our reporter contacts to tell their best stories, creating a little bit of competition with one another," explains Sheriece Matias, manager of corporate communications at Subaru of America.
The team reached out to other key online influencers, such as YouTube's Mystery Guitar Man.Results
So far, 20,123 story submissions and 2,400 social media mentions have been generated. First-car videos have been viewed 150,542 times and visitors typically spend four-plus minutes on the site.
The effort also drew online and print media coverage and was nominated for the automotive category of the Webby Awards.
Subaru has seen a significant uptick in business. March 2012 was the best sales month in Impreza history, up 214% over March 2011. Year-to-date sales are up 157%.Future
The campaign remains ongoing throughout 2012.